Following continued positive data trends, Governor Doug Ducey today announced the next steps Arizona will take to gradually reenergize the economy. The Governor issued an Executive Order allowing cosmetologists and barbershops to resume appointment-based services this Friday, May 8, and restaurants and coffee shops can resume in-restaurant dining services with physical distancing measures on Monday, May 11. The Governor’s Office also released additional guidelines to keep customers and employees safe. 

In addition, the Governor issued an Executive Order requiring expanded reporting of COVID-19 related information to residents of long-term care facilities, as well as their next of kin and guardians and prospective residents. 

“Arizona continues to focus on protecting public health, supporting those in need and ensuring we’re taking the necessary steps to return stronger,” said Governor Ducey. “Our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 are working — and Arizonans are still encouraged to limit time away from home. Arizona will continue to take a steady approach and work with the Arizona Department of Health Services as we breathe life back into our businesses and provide guidance on reopening. More to come.”

Under the order, barbers and cosmetologists can resume operations on Friday, May 8 as long as they establish and implement safety protocols and best practices, including using face coverings for employees and customers, operating by appointment only and following protocols as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

Additionally, restaurants and coffee shops can resume dine-in services on Monday, May 11. The operators must establish and implement safety protocols and best practices, including enacting physical distancing policies, limiting the number of diners and following protocols as directed by the CDC, the United States Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration and ADHS.


In response to Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement this afternoon that in-restaurant dining can resume on May 11, the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) has unveiled “Welcome Back to the Table” reopening guidance intended to help restaurants restart kitchen equipment and rehire staff among other items.  

Additionally, it includes guidelines restaurants are expected to follow from the State of Arizona.

“We are thrilled as an industry to reopen restaurants and return to business in accordance with the new guidelines set forth by Governor Ducey today,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “Most importantly, there will be many procedures in place by restaurateurs to ensure the utmost safety and health of diners and staff.” 

The ARA’s recommendations include maintaining social distancing by following restrictions adopted by the State in compliance with CDC guidelines including proper distancing between groups of patrons (while waiting for a table as well as in relation to other tables) and limiting the number of people in any dining party to no more than 10. Technology should also be employed to decrease the number of patrons waiting in or near the establishment.

In addition, further sanitation methods should be considered including finding new ways to handle menus and the order process that moves away from traditional reusable menus, and employing options to decrease menu touchpoints through technology and other solutions. These include recommending diners view menus on their phones, placing menu boards throughout the restaurant, offering single-use menus that are to be discarded after every use, or sanitizing easily cleanable (such as fully laminated) menus after each use.

Restaurants will also need to sanitize customer areas — including tables/tablecloths, chairs/booth seating, all door handles, any other surfaces a customer has likely touched — after each sitting with EPA-registered disinfectant. 

Chucri encourages restaurant owners and industry workers to be flexible during this time, noting that these guidelines and recommendations are not a be-all, end-all solution but rather one small step in the right direction. 

Meanwhile, the ARA is very optimistic, based on the results of its recent Arizona Restaurant Industry survey, that Arizonans will feel comfortable and safe dining in restaurants again.

More than 1,500 people participated in the survey, which included questions about in-dining protocols and when people will feel comfortable dining in again. In response to the question, “Once dining rooms are able to be reopened, with new health precautions in place, how soon would you return to dining in a restaurant?,” more than 50 percent responded “immediately,” while another 13 percent responded within two weeks.